Oct 212016
 

My daughter was dealing in what I like to call “extremes” this week.  Grade school pictures.  Happened.  And even though I tried to reassure her of the positives, her phrase to sum it all up to her Dad when first walking through the door was, “I got my school picture and it is %100 bad.”  And the bad does not stop here people.  This week just keeps comin’ at ya.

Emotions.  Oh to know and understand them.  This is the real chore.  With 3 girls under 7 in tow and home.  The 2nd “extreme”  came out while consecutively keeping a hula hooping session underway (she has watched her mother multitask and fail miserably, so I am sure her subconscious competitive spirit was in full swing).  “I came with my best friend to play the game with everyone, but when the circle came to my turn, they skipped me.  And my best friend didn’t even stand up for me.  And so I said, ‘Well, I guess you just don’t like me and don’t want to ever play with me.  You are not my friend anymore.’ ”  (Of course this is the reader’s digest version for you all.  I would be happy to expand the what was a 30 minute conversation of wading through tears and story plot if you email me.  And don’t have a life.)

The words of making up possible reasons or excuses for the others wasn’t a good idea.  The mama “Jesus teaches us…” only made the hula hooping the main event.  And the mama empathy seemed to move the slow faucet drips to a constant waterfall of tears.  So I was at a loss.  Once again.  In mothering.

But I couldn’t help but think to myself- “Man, she is definitely making a ‘mountain out of a molehill’ (don’t you love the intense analogy I used here).  If only she could see herself through the eyes of Jesus and me, to stand on truth here instead of focusing on the wounds of other’s.  Then her “NOT’s” mindest and heart could be propelled into the present and future as an opportunity to empathize with other’s in their times of woundedness and exclusion and find strength and unfailing love in the arms of Jesus.  He is the ONLY one.  ONLY Savior.  ONLY friend.  Who will never let her and us down.

As I looked on my daughter with self pity, the pride came before a fall as I found myself living in dual mindsets as her this week.  “A little birdie told me” of a conversation which happened among some of my dearest friend’s.  In which I wasn’t there.  But even though I had recently layed my heart and soul before them, without knowing it they crushed it.  Because when looking for someone to fulfill a specific role in ministry, my name wasn’t considered.  It was NOT a factor.  I was NOT considered.  Picked.  And at this point, I also, like my daughter, when to the “extremes” or the I’m “%100 bad” mindset.  I won’t deny it.  I was wounded.  And this is where Satan earns his paycheck.  I went to the dark place.  I didn’t believe God would ever use me, because He must think like everyone else and consider everyone else but me.  Because I am NOT.

Memories of 7th grade NOT being picked for the basketball team came to mind.  Of being the 8th bride in the “7 brides for 7 brother’s” Musicale (if you didn’t catch the gist there, I was NOT in the show due to their only being 7 brides and not 8.  Sorry if I just insulted your intelligence by explaining this joke, my husband tells me I am real good at doing this.)  And so.  the NOTs kept.  On.  Coming.  But I remembered what to do when “100% bad” hits.

Go.  To.  my heavenly Father.  And be.  In His lifegiving company.  And Sit.  Asking His Word to speak to me.  (Getting His download of me instead of others’.  And at this point I KNEW Satan was real upset.  So good!)  And let me tell you-I came out fully loved.  fully valued.  fully gifted.  fully rebuilt.  fully strengthed.  fully geared up to be sent out to serve.

I wonder if you are in a “%100 bad” mindset/circumstance today.  Well guess what?  When in the dark pit, there is one best thing to do.  Look up.  To Jesus.  And allow His light to shine on in.  Or maybe, like my daughter’s hula hoop, you are in a round and round and round cycle of negative/untrue/”hula hoop lies” thinking towards yourself and/or someone else and don’t know how to stop?  Will you ask God to enter into this place and guide you into all Truth?

And so I pray for you today, my sister, the same prayer I prayed for myself.  “Lord come and speak and help and renew.”  The outcome being the 100% bad mindset of “NOTs” (that other’s, ourselves and the enemy infiltrates our minds with) strangely amounting to NOTHING.  And we find ourselves humming the true song of the love, hope and purpose in the mighty name of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (The Message)  Strength from Weakness

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Feb 092016
 

Love perseveres….1 Corinthians 13:7b

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Romans 5:3-5

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

It is time to air out some dirty laundry.  Throughout my childhood the word “perseverance” may as well have been the word “Olympian” because both were non existent in my life.  I distinctly remember trying a variety of sports/activities/hobbies on for size.  But there was a common thread which determined whether my interest would dwindle or ignite.  The difficulty and amount of work required.  When I learned piano lessons involved hours of practicing outside of the actual lesson, I told my Mom this wasn’t for me.  Neither was ballet, or gymnastics, for the same reason.  In college, I knew I wanted to do a music major, but when Theory class came around, I quit.  The class was extremely difficult and so I considered other options which were easier to me.  As an adult, the above word has been evident in my life.  Although mainly because I was forced into it.

My most recent “must persevere moments” have been due to our now 7 week old baby girl.  The last nine months before she was born, I puked.  Nearly every day and usually multiple times.  But I had to persevere.  When she has been screaming non stop for 15 minutes and my only wish is for 2 hours of straight sleep at night, I have to persevere.  The above two are “forced perseverence” opportunities, but the one I am currently struggling with I have brought upon myself.  One word-Weightloss.  Getting rid of the baby weight involves self control in my diet, hard work with the “Daily Burn video’s” each morning, and an ability to continue doing it even when the scale proves disheartening.  This last Thursday I was ready to go back to my childhood piano playing mindset and let the baby weight stay.

I cried to my friends as I told them of my weeks of work and the scale showed only 1 pound less.  My discouragement was at a 10.  My hope was at a 0.  My heart needed much.  And so they prayed.  For strength to continue the hard work.  For help, healing and comfort from the Father.  For my spirit to be lifted with quick results.  Ultimately-they exemplified how “love perseveres”.  Because they cared for me, they would not let me quit.  But they would let me be encouraged through their caring prayers of hope.

And through their prayers the Holy Spirit comforted my deep wounded soul.  And I know nothing is impossible with God.  And so I continue on this difficult journey.  It may take more time than I would want.  It may take more work than I would want.  It may take more mustering up of discipline and self control than I would want.  But I trust God.  And His Word.  And know through this perseverance, there is character and hope on the horizon.

What are you currently needing to persevere?  Will you ask friends to pray with you to help you endure?

Who can you give encouragement and hope to in order to show you love them and are with them in their struggle?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Feb 112013
 

A COUPLE WEEKS AGO I HAD A TEARY MOTHER MOMENT.  I have teary mother moments often, (especially during February craziness, which I wrote on last week) but this one enveloped tears of joy versus pain

After finishing our usual 30 minute clean up from breakfast, I round the girls up to get ready for the day.

Our morning routine in a nutshell: 

  • Teeth brushing- Includes the ABC song and many promptings that Mommy needs to brush as well.
  • Hair fixing-Using the special Dora brush, I endure screams of, “I don’t want you to brush my hair” and calmly reply with multiple responses of, “We must brush our hair or there will be larger tangles.  Mommy will be very gentle.  Please don’t move your head or it will take longer to finish.”
  • Getting dressed-Includes the changing of sweet 2 year old Sadie’s poopy diaper, while I role-play multiple barn yard animals.  I call to Lucy in the other room to see if she has put on her underwear.  I respond to her “Mom, is it a short sleeve or a long sleeve day?” question.
  • The laundry event-I lift up each girl to help them put every piece of clothing in the wash.  I often have to separate the girls as they struggle to keep their hands to themselves.

Knowing this morning would encompass all of the above battles and additional unexpected ones, I took a deep breath in.  Then out.

Sadie grabbed my leg and said, “Hold me Mama.”  I pulled her up to put her on my hip (I recognized my baby is gettingheavier) and we started up the 2 flights of stairs.

Then it happened.

Sadie turned to face me, laid her head on my shoulder and squeezed my neck with all her strength.  I pulled back due to her extreme closeness and I realized there was no way she was letting go.

I continued to fight her for a couple more steps and then gave in.  It is at this place of surrendering my strength and will that I experienced the necessity of the relentless hug.

Relentless hug defined:  Persistent, insistent, unyielding embrace.

A smile came to my face, tears to my eyes, and a weight was released from my mind, body and spirit as Sadie continued her death grip around me.  I was caught up.  In her arms.  And every other agenda item for the day took a back seat.

I was caught up in the goodness of God to give me Sadie as a daughter.  I was caught up in the grace of God to allow me to stop my everyday chaos.  To focus on her loving embrace.  To be thankful and present in the moment. 

And then it was as if Sadie’s tiny hands were transformed into the large, strong hands of Jesus. This brought fresh tears to my eyes.  To rest in my Daddy’s arms, is to know everything is going to be ok.  Loved.  Comforted.  Content.

Just like I resisted Sadie’s hug at first, I also resist Jesus’ arms of love during my day.  I resist and say,

I got this.

I’ll just have another cup of coffee and be fine.

I am too busy to look to You.

Jesus is extending a virtual, relentless hug to you right now.  Stop resisting.  Only close your eyes and release your burdens to Him.  Now take in His perfect embrace.

“He tends His flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart…”  Isaiah 40:11

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share
Jan 282013
 

I HAVEN’T BOUGHT NEW UNDERWEAR IN PROBABLY 11 YEARS.  BEFORE YOU BECOME COMPLETELY DISGUSTED, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND I HAVE RECEIVED SOME NEW PAIRS IN MY STOCKINGS AT CHRISTMAS AND SOME NEW TO ME PAIRS ON INFINITE LOAN FROM MY MOTHER.  So it’s not as if I ONLY wear my oldie but goodie’s.  But here is the truth:  my oldies are worn.  Worn out.

I knew it was time to buy some new undies when my husband said, “Wow, those are some nice underwear.  I think it’s time for those to go in the trash.”  He had been dropping some hints about them over the last 5 years, but for some reason it wasn’t until this comment that I was ready to take action.

You would be proud of me.  I used half of my JC Penny gift card to purchase brand spankin’ new undies last week.  And I threw away my oldies.  My family can rest easy now.  No worries of seeing me in the tattered and torn underwear I purchased 11 years ago for my wedding.  I have to admit it felt good to be out with the old and in with the new.

Last week I had multiple days where I felt worn out like my oldie undies.  But one day stands out in particular.

My Day of Worn

  1. I woke up to my girls were screaming at each other. I ran to tackle the issue at hand.  Completely undressed, Lucy and Sadie had poured cups of water, ALL the toys, and hundreds of stickers all over the room.  The cream of the crop: Lucy had peed the bed.  They were tugging back and forth over one sticker.  Worn.
  2. I sent both girls to time outs and began cleaning the huge mess.  Worn.
  3. I began the regular routine of breakfast, coffee, and cleaning up the kitchen, while taking extra vitamin C to fight off a sore throat.  Worn.
  4. I wasn’t able to go to Bible Study to be filled up spiritually and emotionally due to my girls being sick.  I hadn’t been out of the house in a couple days.  Worn.
  5. I was on my period.  I was grouchy.  My motivation to be the positive, patient mom was more than gone.  Worn.
  6. We were out of lunch meat, milk, and laundry hadn’t happened due to sickness.  Worn.
  7. I hadn’t had time over the past week to write, read my Bible, run, or spend time with friends.  Worn.
  8. Both girls had been up in the middle of the night=no restful sleep for me.  Worn.
  9. I broke down and cried.  Worn.

Through my tears, God comforted me through His Word.  Come to me, all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.  Mt.  11:28

I don’t replay my Day of Worn in order for you to feel bad for me.  Reality is: I know you could tell me a similar but unique to you Day of Worn you had once, twice or many times this month.  I write about my worn to say I am with you, sister.

The Day of Worn is when we must cry out to Jesus.  Because it is in the worn that we can so easily draw into ourselves and forget to even ask for help.  But I have found He meets me so deeply in the worn.  He provides exactly what I need to continue on.  To get beyond me.  To praise Him in it. 

Just like I got rid of my worn out undies to bring in the new ones, we also can say goodbye to our worn self to embrace the new.  Our situation won’t necessarily change, but when we fix our eyes on Jesus we bring Him into our worn.  And through the power of His Holy Spirit we can find rest, help, strength, hope, joy and peace.  Jesus makes ALL things new.

“Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.”  Author unknown.

Ps.  42:5  “Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

If you are experiencing a Day of Worn allow this song “Worn”  to minister to you.

What was one part of your Day(s) of Worn?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

Share